Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Great Year!

It has been a whirlwind year around here with lots of exciting events and fascinating research. Without much ado, here are the most popular posts from 2015.

I went on some fun adventures!

Rosie Rally 2015
On Saturday, August 15, I joined a bunch of other folks young and old dressed up as Rosie the Riveter at the Rosie the Riveter Memorial Park in Richmond, California, for the Rosie Rally! It was so much fun hanging out all day with a bunch of awesome women celebrating other awesome women! There was fun music, inspirational speeches, and lots of dancing! I'm already planning to go again in 2016!

I went on some history research adventures!

Mildred Wiley - trail-blazing athlete
I found this image and went on a research hunt to learn more about it and the woman in it. When I searched for the image, I found very little information about the athlete, other than her name: Mildred Olive Wiley. She has a very abbreviated Wikipedia entry, listing her birth and death, and the fact that she won a bronze medal in the high jump. But that's just a start. I found out quite a bit more about her and her life.

Women Celebrating Juneteenth
Every year around Juneteenth, I see this photo getting shared on Pinterest and elsewhere on the web. I've long wondered who these women in the buggy were and what was their story. Turns out they're an important link to the past. So, who were Martha Yates Jones and Pinkie Yates? How did they live? What did the do? Were they related, as their shared name implies?

There were some amazingly smart young women.

Google Science Fair Winner Olivia Hallisey!
Her project was an amazingly simple invention that will save countless lives around the world -- an Ebola Assay Card that allows fast detection of Ebola in remote locations, and can carry life-saving antibodies to the right places as quickly as possible. Her simple silk protein assay sets up in 30 minutes, costs less than $25, and can go for a week without refrigeration.

Self-Rescuing Princess of the Week: Gaby Zane
It's pretty scary going in for an operation. But now, thanks to an inquisitive fifth grader, kids will be able to take their favorite stuffed animals with them for a little extra comfort and security. When Gaby Zane had an idea for her fifth grade science fair project, she had no idea she'd wind up having her results published in a medical journal. But that's exactly what's happened!

Lots of amazing geeky things happened!

The Littlest Uhura
I just love this photo of Nichelle Nichols. Here is a woman who could easily rest on her accomplishments and spend her time relaxing at home. Instead, she's out there greeting the public. And thus, expanding her influence to new generations. Just take a look at this fantastic photo of her with the most adorable Uhura ever taken at Grand Rapids Comic Con in October 2014!

Lego Star Wars Friends - Come to the pink side, we have puppies!
These MOC (My Own Creation) pieces created by Frances and Tyler Sky are just too awesome for words. By combining Lego Star Wars and Lego Friends pieces, they created Hothlake City. This highly detailed display won the "Medium Planetary Structure" trophy in the Space category at BrickCon 2014 in Seattle. Personally, I like the idea of using an old decommissioned AT-AT for peaceful purposes.

There were some awesome geeky crafts to share!

She's Crafty - Captain America sweatshirt
Tehnakki typically spends her days in Boston being an awesome rocket scientist. (OK, technically she's a satellite engineer, but 'rocket scientist' sounds way cooler. And eviler.) When she's not doing science, she's playing games, creating awesome cosplay, and following other awesomely nerdly pursuits, like this super awesome floral Captain America shield sweatshirt -- the perfect snow day craft project!

She's Crafty - Captain America sweatshirt
Supergirl may be all the rage right now, but I still love Wonder Woman. She's strong. She's smart. She's brave and kind and all the good things I aspire to be. For me she still holds a special place in my own personal story -- dressing up as her is empowering -- and I still buy Wonder Woman gadgets and decorations. Fortunately, there's no shortage of inspiration out there, all designed by incredible clever and crafty folks.

I interviewed some remarkable people who created some fantastic things.

SRPS Book Shelf - Shay & Ivy: Beyond the Kingdom
If you have a little girl in your life who could do with a reminder they can be "more than a princess," I highly recommend you get your own copy of Shay & Ivy: Beyond the Kingdom. It's an enchanting story, even for a mostly-grown-up like me. It's perfect for the little ones in your life. I look forward to future editions in the Shay & Ivy story line.

Kickstart This! The A to Z Guide to Jobs for Girls
The A to Z Guide to Jobs for Girls ABC Board Book, by Charles Dowd is a fantastic book featuring his adorable illustrations showing girls doing all kinds of amazing jobs. It's got kung fu champions and jackhammer operators and astronauts. What may have started out as a kind of ironic project aimed more at older geeks has instead turned into a book with a wide appeal.

And there were some excellent crowd-funding projects!

Kickstart This! Naked Nomadz
I was fortunately enough to have several of these young women in the photo above in many of my classes, and was even a bit sad to leave them as I graduated. As it turns out, these hot shots are graduating this year, and to celebrate, they're going on a all-ladies bike tour! You would be hard pressed to find five more genuine and kind souls than these women right here.

Kickstart This! Suspension of Disbelief
Hey gamer/LARPer types! Have you ever wondered what the local residents think about all the hapless heroes parading through their city? Suspension of Disbelief: A Fantasy-Comedy Webseries by Benjamin Boardman is the series for you! What I love most about this series is that they decided to do some gender-flipping and it only makes the story that much more awesome. The cast looks excellent, and the story looks fun.

There were plenty of inspirational moments.

Quote of the Day - Frida Kahlo
I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”

And some really great TV!

TV Night - Madam Secretary
What I love most about this show is watching these women do what they do, and how they do it. Each of them are complex and very human characters, complete with their own motivations, desires, and personal failings. Watching them is a joy because it's like watching behind the scenes of what we rarely get to see -- strong women being human, having real relationships, while still being effective and powerful.

I'm looking forward to so many great new adventures in 2016. Thank you for all your support over the last year. It means more to me than you can possible know. I love the work I do here, and look forward to sharing more great stories with you in the coming year. Here's hoping we all have a very happy new year!

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